Memetic Transmission

Imagine a religion which considered memetic transmission its highest priority. It would treat teaching as a highly demanding trade, and might train and select teachers the way current American society does for scientists, or the way it does for lawyers, or doctors (i.e. training is rigorous, selection is competitive, and they might even get paid well). This environment would probably also engender more study of and general attention to the topic of memetic transmission. In memetic transmission I include and emphasize the propagation of memes over generations.

In the long run, this group might be strong. The strategy might be as effective as the memetic/reproductive strategies of the Catholic or Mormon groups.

Come to think of it, reproduction might have to be a part of the system, too. Encourage members to on average at least keep each generation no smaller than the last. You wouldn't want to involuntarily follow the Shakers.

If a group of people treated as a virtue the understanding of and ability to craft a strong human mind, that group might become powerful. I think maybe that was what the Catholic church was doing with Jesuits and the like, but it's interesting that they segregated the memetic strategy from the genetic strategy. I think the Mormons may be doing a similar thing, at least with respect to business and political acumen, and in their case the genetic and memetic strategies are meshed. It seems to be working for the Mormons.

Hmm, the system I'm imagining stresses the open and inquisitive mind, and clear and rigorous thought. Perhaps such a system would be unstable; by its very nature people would wander away from it. Maybe that's why dogma-based systems are so common. But if one could find a way to keep an open-thought system from dissolving, it would probably be able to evolve and adapt more readily, and produce more new, useful ideas than a closed, dogma-based system.

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